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The Emphatic Diaglott




(According to the Recension of Dr. J. J. Griesbach)




No. 1209 in the Vatican Library

The Emphatic Diaglott

In 1888, Zion's Watch Tower carried in the July issue (Reprint page 1051) an offer to all its readers to receive a copy of the Emphatic Diaglott at a subsidized price of $1.50 which included a year's subscription (or renewal) to the Tower, and postage of sixteen cents. The brother who made this possible, acquired in 1902 the copyright and plates and presented them to the Society as a gift. 

An early copy at hand, which was presented in 1903 to Br. Silas Arnold of Dayton, Ohio by Br. Russell, includes an editor's page. As this has not been included in later editions, the text of this item may be of interest to our readers and is reprinted here.

A Friendly Criticism

This work we regard as a very valuable help to all Bible students, whether conversant with the Greek language or not. We esteem it (as a whole) the most valuable translation of the New Testament extant. 
We call special attention to the 'word for word' translation, found immediately under the Greek text, in the left hand column. It will be found valuable, especially for a critical examination of any particular text. A little study will enable you to appreciate it. Like all things made and done by imperfect mortals, we think this valuable work not without its faults. It would seem to us that the author must have held the view that Jesus had no prehuman existence, and that there is no personal devil; i.e., that when the word devil' is used evil principle is meant; also that Jesus is still a man and flesh, in glory. In commending this work to you as a whole so highly as we have done, we deem it but a duty to draw your attention to a very slight bias which we think pervades the work in the direction named. 

As some pointed illustrations of what we have remarked, we suggest an examination and comparison between the right and left columns of the work, in the following scriptures, viz: John 1:10, Rev. 13:8; Jude 9; Heb. 10:20. Editor of Zion's Watch Tower. 


To trouble the reader with any lengthy remarks on the important advantage to be derived from a new translation of the Sacred Writings is deemed altogether unnecessary. Much information on this point has been given by others who have published modern versions of the New Testament, with the reasons which have induced them to do so. Those reasons will serve in a great measure also for this. It is generally admitted by all critics that the Authorized or Common version of the Scriptures absolutely needs revision. Obsolete words, uncouth phrases, bad grammar and punctuation, etc., all require alteration. But this is not all. There are errors of amore serious nature which need correction. The translators of the Common version were circumscribed and trammeled by royal mandate; they were required to retain certain old ecclesiastical words which, accordingly, were left untranslated. Thus the minds of many who had no means of knowing the meaning of the original words have been misled and confused.Biblical criticism, however, during the last two hundred years, has done much to open up and elucidate the Word of God, by discovering many things which were unknown to the old translators, making great improvements in the text, detecting numerous interpolations and errors, and suggesting far better renderings of many passages. Many modern versions have availed themselves of this valuable assistance, and it is believed they have thereby been enabled to give the English reader a better understanding of what was originally written. 

Without presuming to claim any superiority for this, as a translation of the New Testament, over any other modern version, it is thought that the present Work presents certain valuable features not found elsewhere, and which will be of real practical utility to every one who wishes to read the books of the evangelists and apostles as they were written under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. These features are:--An approved Greek text, with the various Readings of the Vatican Manuscript. No. 1209; an Interlineary literal Word for Word English translation; a New Version, with the Signs of Emphasis; a copious selection of References; many appropriate, illustrative, and exegetical Footnotes; and a valuable Alphabetical Appendix. This combination of important items cannot be found in any other book. The reader will find further remarks on this subject, on the page headed, Plan of the Work and he is also invited to read the pages with the respective captions: To the Reader; History of the Greek Text ; and History of English Versions. Also, on another page will be found the Letters and Pronunciation of the Greek Alphabet, for the special benefit of those who may wish to obtain a rudimentary knowledge of that language. 

The intelligent reader will at once perceive the utility and importance of this arrangement. Readers who are familiar with the original tongue obtain in this Work one of the best Greek Testaments, with important ancient readings, well worthy of their attention; and, it is presumed, there are even few Greek scholars who are so far advanced but may derive some help from the translation given. Those who have only a little or no knowledge of the Greek may, by careful reading and a little attention to the Interlineary translation, soon become familiar with it. This Work, in fact, places in the hands of the intelligent English reader the means of knowing and appropriating for his own benefit, with but little labor on his part, what has cost others years of study and severe toil to acquire. 

Scrupulous fidelity has been maintained throughout this version in giving the true rendering of the original text into English; no regard whatever being paid to the prevailing doctrines or prejudices of sects, of the peculiar tenets of theologians. To the divine authority of the original Scriptures alone has there been the most humble and unbiased submission. In the preparation of this work for the press, all available help to be derived from the labors of great and learned men has been obtained and appropriated. Lexicons, Grammars, ancient and modern Versions, Commentaries, critical and explanatory, Cyclopedias, Bible and other Dictionaries, etc., have been consulted and culled from. Also, the suggestions, opinions and criticism of friends, on words, phrases and passages, have been duly considered, and sometimes adopted. It is not presumed that this work is free from faults or errors. Infallibility is left for others to claim. Great care however, has been exercised to make it as correct as possible. The Work is now sent forth to the public, to stand or fall on its own merits. True, it cannot boast of being the production of a council of learned men, as King James version; but let it be remembered that TYNDALE alone, under very disadvantageous circumstances, did far more for the English Bible than that learned body, for they only followed in the wake of his labors. 

This Volume, principally designed for the instruction and advantage of others, is now reverently committed to the blessing of our Father in the heavens, with an earnest and sincere desire that many of those who peruse its pages may be led by the knowledge, faith and obedience inculcated therein to obtain an inheritance in the aionian kingdom of Jesus the Anointed One. 



The following condensed account of the different editions of the Greek New Testament will introduce the reader to the history of the Greek Text, and the various steps taken by learned men for the purpose of editing it with greater critical accuracy. The history will commence with the first printed editions. 

The first printed edition of the whole of the Greek New Testament was that contained in the Complutensian Polyglot; published by Francis XIMENES de CISNEROS. The principal editor of the work was Lopez de Stunica. It was printed in Greek and Latin, and completed January 10, 1514. In consequence of the delay as to the publication of this edition (from 1514 to1520) that of ERASMUS was commenced and completed, and was published in 1516, being the first edition published of the Greek New Testament. Like the Complutensian edition, this was also in Greek and Latin. The latter part of the book of Revelation being wanting in his MS. He supplied the same by translating the Latin vulgate into Greek. 

The Greek Manuscripts used for these two editions were few in number, of little critical value, and therefore do not possess much real authority. In 1535, Erasmus published his fifth edition, which is the basis of the common Text.* 
In 1546, and again in 1549, ROBERT STEPHENS printed, at Paris, two beautiful small editions of the Greek New Testament; and in 1550 his folio edition with various readings from several Manuscripts--he collated some 15 MSS., but chiefly followed the Complutensian copy. BEZA published five editions of the Greek Testament; the first in 1565, the last in 1598. 

In 1624, the ELZEVIR, printers at Leyden, published a small and beautiful Greek Testament, the editor of which is wholly unknown. It differs little from Stephens folio edition. The printers gave to this Text the name of Textus Receptus. 

In WALTON'S POLYGLOT of 1657, the Greek New Testament was given according to the Text of Stephens; and in the last volume there was a collection of various Readings from such MSS. as were then known. These various Readings, with some additions, were given in the Greek Testament, published by Bishop Fell, at Oxford, in 1675. 

In 1707, Dr. MILL'S Greek Testament appeared. His Text is simply taken from Stephens as given in Walton's Polyglot. His collection of various Readings was extensive, and these were made the ground for a critical amendment of the Text. 

Dr. EDWARD WELLS published the first critical revision in parts at Oxford, between1709 and 1719, with a translation and paraphrase. 

BENGEL followed on in the same work and published his edition in 1734, and in his Apparatus Criticus he enlarged the stock of various Readings. 

WETSTEIN published his Greek Testament in 1751-2, but only indicates, in his inner margin, the few Readings which he preferred to those of the Elzevir edition. But in the collection of critical materials he did more than all his predecessors put together. 

--------------*Erasmus, in his third edition of 1523, inserted the text, 1 John v. 7, on the authority of a MS. now in Dublin. Tyndale used this edition to revise his English version. 

GRIESBACH, in critical labors, excels by far any who preceded him. He used the materials others had gathered. His first edition was commenced in 1775; his last was completed in 1806. He combined the results of the collations of Birch, Matthaei and others, with those of Wetstein. In his Revision he often preferred the testimony of the older MSS. to the mass of modern copies. 

Since the publication of Griesbach’s Text, three or four other critical editions have been published, and have received the examination and approval of scholars. Of these, the edition of Scholz has passed through numerous editions. His fundamental principle of criticism was, that the great majority of copies decide as to the correctness of the Text; hence, those who prefer the more ancient documents will consider the Text of Griesbach preferable; while those whose judgment would favor the mass of testimonies would prefer that of Scholz. 

In addition to Scholz’s collation, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, &c., have given to the world the result of their critical labors, and which are acknowledged to be of the highest authority. 

The number of MSS. now known, and which have been examined, is nearly 700; thus affording now a far better chance to obtain a correct Greek Text than when the authorized version was at first published. 


THE first English version of the New Testament was that made by JOHN WICLIF, or WYCLIFFE, about the year 1367. It was translated from the Latin Bible, verbatim, without any regard to the idiom of the languages. Though this version was first in point of time, no part of it was printed before the year 1731. 

TYNDALE'S translation was published in 1526, either at Antwerp or Hamburg. It is commonly said that Tyndale translated from the Greek, but he never published it to be so on any title page of his Testament. One edition, not published by him, has this title-- The Newe Testament, dylygently corrected and compared with the Greke, by Willyam Tyndale, and fynesshed in the yere of oure Lorde God, A. M. D. And xxxiiij. in the moneth of Nouember. It is evident he only translated from the Vulgate Latin. 

COVERDALE published the whole Bible in English, in the year 1535. He followed his interpreters, and adopted Tyndale's version, with the exception of a few alterations. 

MATTHEW’S BIBLE was only Tyndale and Coverdale s published under the feigned name of Thomas Matthew. 

HOLLYBUSHE’S NEW TESTAMENT was printed in 1538, both in Latin and English, after the Vulgate text, to which Coverdale prefixed a dedication to Henry VIII. 

THE GREAT BIBLE, published in 1539, purported to be translated after the veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes, but it is certain that it was only a revision of Matthew’s, with a few small alterations. It was named the Great Bible, because of its large size. 

CRANMER’S BIBLE, published in 1540, was essentially the same as the Great Bible, but took his name on account of a few corrections which he made in it. 

THE GENEVA BIBLE was published at Geneva in 1560. The New Testament in 1557. Coverdale was one of the Geneva brethren who issued it. 

THE BISHOP’S BIBLE was a revisal of the English Bible, made by the bishops, and compared with the originals. It was published in 1568. 

THE DOUAY BIBLE appeared in 1609, and was translated from the authentical Latin, or Vulgate. 

KING JAMES BIBLE, or the Authorized Version, was published in 1611. In the year1604, forty-seven persons learned in the languages were appointed to revise the translation then in use. They were ordered to use the Bishop s Bible as the basis of the new version, and to alter it as little as the original would allow; but if the prior translations of Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, Cranmer or Whitechurch, and the Geneva editors agreed better with the text, to adopt the same. This translation was perhaps the best that could be made at the time, and if it had not been published by kingly authority, it would not now be venerated by English and American protestants, as though it had come direct from God. It has been convicted of containing over 20,000 errors. Nearly 700 Greek MSS. are now known, and some of them very ancient; whereas the translators of the common version had only the advantage of some 8 MSS. none of which was earlier than the tenth century. 

Since 1611, many translations of both Old and New Testaments, and portions of the same, have been published. The following are some of the most noted. 

The Family Expositor: or a Paraphrase and Version of the New Testament, with Critical Notes. By Philip Doddridge. 1755. 

The four Gospels translated from the Greek. By George Campbell. 1790. 

A New Literal Translation, from the Original Greek of the Apostolical Epistles. By James Macknight. 1795. 

A Translation of the New Testament. By Gilbert Wakefield. 1795. 

A Translation of the New Testament, from the original Greek. Humbly attempted by Nathaniel Scarlett, assisted by men of piety and literature. 1798. 

The New Testament in an Improved Version, upon the basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation, with a corrected Text. 1808. 

The New Testament, in Greek and English; the Greek according to Griesbach; the English upon the basis of the fourth London edition of the Improved Version, with an attempt to further improvement from the translations of Campbell, Wakefield, Scarlett, Macknight, and Thomson. By Abner Kneeland. 1822. 

A New Family Bible, and improved Version, from corrected Texts of the Originals, with Notes Critical, &c. By B. Boothroyd. 1823. 

The Sacred Writings of the Apostles and Evangelists, translated from the original, by Campbell, Macknight, and Doddridge, with various Emendations by A. Campbell. 1833.

A New and Corrected Version of the New Testament. By R. Dickinson. 1833. 

The Book of the New Covenant, a Critical Revision of the Text and Translation of Common Version, with the aid of most ancient MSS. By Granville Penn. 1836. 

The Holy Bible, with 20,000 emendations. By J. T. Conquest. 1841. 

The Good News of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed; from the Critical Greek of Tittman. By N. N. Whiting. 1849. 

A Translation of the New Testament, from the Syriac. By James Murdock. 1852. 

Translation of Paul s epistles. By Joseph Turnbull. 1854. 

The New Testament, translated from Griesbach s Text. By Samuel Sharpe. 1856. 


THAT. All Scripture, divinely inspired, is profitable for Teaching, for Conviction, for Correction, for THAT Instruction which is in Righteousness, is the truthful testimony of the Sacred Writings about themselves. We rejoice to express our conviction that the word of God was perfect and infallible as it emanated from those holy men of old, the prophets and apostles, who spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit. As a revelation of Jehovah's will to the human race, it was requisite that it should be an unerring guide. Amid the ever conflicting strife of human opinions, and the endless diversity of thought, we needed such a standard, to lead us safely through the perplexing problems of life, to counsel us under all circumstances, to reveal the will of our Heavenly Parent, and to lift on high a celestial light, which, streaming through the thick darkness that broods around, shall guide the feet of his erring and bewildered children to their loving Father's home. We needed, therefore, a testimony upon which to repose our faith and hope, free from all error, immutable, and harmonious in all its details--something to tell us how to escape from the evils of the present, and attain to a glorious future. With reverence and joy we acknowledge the Sacred Writings to be such, as they were originally dictated by the Holy Spirit. How important, then, that they should be correctly read and understood! 

But can it be fairly said that such is the case with our present English Version? We opine not. Though freely acknowledging that it is sufficiently plain to teach men the social and religious duties of life, and the path to immortality, yet it is a notable fact that King James Translation is far from being a faithful reflection of the mind of the Spirit, as contained in the Original Greek in which the books of the New Testament were written. There are some thousands of words which are either mistranslated, or too obscurely rendered. Besides others which are now obsolete, through improvement in the language. Besides this, it has been too highly colored in many places with the party ideas and opinions of those who made it, to be worthy of full and implicit confidence being placed in it as a genuine record. In the words of Dr. Macknight, It was made a little too complaisant to the King, in favoring his notions of predestination, election, witchcraft, familiar spirits, and kingly rights, and these it is probable were also the translator's opinions. That their translation is partial, speaking the language of, and giving authority to one sect. 

And according to Dr. Gell, it was wrested and partial, and only adapted to one sect; but he imputes this, not to the translators, but to those who employed them, for even some of the translators complained that they could not follow their own judgment in the matter, but were restrained by reasons of state. 

The Version in common use will appear more imperfect still when the fact is known that it was not a translation from the Original, but merely a revision of the Versions then in use. This is evident from the following directions given by King James to the translators, viz.: The Bishop's Bible [was] to be followed, and altered as little as the Original will permit. And these translations [were] to be used when they agree better with the text than the Bishops Bible--namely, Tyndale’s, Matthew’s, Coverdale’s, Whitchurch’s, Geneva. None of these were made from the Original Greek, but only compare with it--being all translated from the Vulgate Latin. Hence it follows that the authorized version is simply a revision of the Vulgate. And the Greek Text, with which it was compared, was compiled from Eight MSS. only, all of which were written since the tenth century, and are now considered of comparatively slight authority. The Textus Receptus, or Received Greek Text, was made from these MSS., and is now proved to be the very worst Greek Text extant, in a printed form. And there was only one MS. for the Book of Revelation, and part of that wanting, which was supplied by translating the Latin of the Vulgate into Greek!

Since the publication of the Textus Receptus, and the Common Version, some 600 MSS. have been discovered, some of which are very ancient, and very valuable. The best and oldest of these is one marked B., Cod. Vaticanus, No. 1209 of the fourth and fifth centuries. The second marked A., Cod. Alexandrinus, of the fifth century. The third marked C., Cod. Ephrem., about the fifth century, and the fourth, marked D., Cod. Cantabujiensis, of the seventh century. 

Besides valuable assistance from ancient MSS., the DIAGLOTT has obtained material aid from the labors of many eminent Biblical critics and translators. Among these may bementioned.--Mill, Wetstein, Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tittman, Tregelles, Doddridge, Macknight, Campbell, Horne, Middleton, Clark, Wakefield, Bloomfield, Thompson, Murdock, Kneeland, Boothroyd, Conquest, Sharpe, Gaussen, Turnbull, Trench, &c., &c.Should any person doubt the propriety of the Translation, in any particular part, let him not hastily censure or condemn till he has compared it carefully with the various authorities on which it is based; and even should he see reason to differ in some respects, a correct Greek Text is given, so that the Original may be always appealed to in cases of doubt. However imperfect the Translation may be considered by the Critic it cannot adulterate the Original. 


1. Greek Text and Interlineary Translation.--The left-hand column contains the GREEK TEXT according to Dr. J. J. Griesbach, and interlined with it a LITERAL WORD-FOR-WORD TRANSLATION, wherein the corresponding English is placed directly under each Greek word. 

The Sectional Divisions are those of the Vatican and Alexandrian MSS. Greek Words enclosed in brackets [thus], though authorized by Griesbach, are omitted by the Vatican MS. The advantages to be derived from such an arrangement must be apparent to the Bible student. The learned have a Greek Text acknowledged to be one of the best extant., while the unlearned have almost an equal chance with those acquainted with the Original, by having the meaning and grammatical construction given to each word. This part of the work will be adesideratum by many, but more adapted for criticism than for reading. Although by adhering to the arrangement of the Original, the Translation may appear uncouth, yet the strength and beauty of many passages are thereby preserved. 

The frequent recurrence of the Greek article of emphasis, and an occasional ellipsis, often interfere with the sense and elegance of a sentence, but this cannot well be avoided in a word-forword Translation. The advantages, however, accruing to the diligent investigator of the Divine Word by pursuing this plan are many, and will be duly appreciated. 

2. New Version.--The column on the right-hand side of the page is a NEW VERSION for general reading. This rendering is based upon that in the left-hand column, and the labors of many talented critics and translators of the Scriptures. The Readings of the oldest Manuscripts now known are sometimes incorporated, and always referred to. In this column the EMPHATIC SIGNS are introduced, by which the Greek Words of Emphasis are designated. For the use and beauty of this arrangement, the reader is requested to examine the annexed remarks on Signs of Emphasis. 

The Chapters and Verses of the Common Version have been retained, principally for convenience of reference. The reader, however, by following the paragraphs in the opposite column, need not be governed by these arbitrary divisions. Chapters and Verses were not introduced till the middle of the 16th century. 

3. Foot Notes and References.--The various Readings of the Vatican MS., Notes for the elucidation of the text, and References, are introduced at the bottom of the page. The Notes are critical, illustrative, explanatory, and suggestive. Old Testament quotations are always referred to, and copious parallel passages in the New. 

4. Appendix.--It is intended to add an Appendix to the Work, containing all the Geographical and Proper Names found in the New Testament, with Words and Phrases intimately connected with doctrinal subjects, alphabetically arranged. These will be critically examined, and the light of Biblical science thrown upon such as have given rise to sectarian disputes, and the cavils of infidels. 


The Greek article often finds its equivalent in the English definite article the, but in the majority of cases it is evidently only a mark of emphasis. It frequently precedes a substantive, an adjective, a verb, an adverb, a participle or a particle, thus pointing out the emphatic words. The Greek article and Emphatic Pronouns exercise a most important influence on the meaning of words, and sometimes throw light on doctrines of the highest interest. The sacred penmen of the New Testament were, in the opinion of many eminent persons, guided by Divine inspiration in the choice of their words: and in the use of the Greek article there was clearly a remarkable discretion displayed. In fact, the Signs of Emphasis are incorporated with the words in such a manner that the latter cannot be stated without conveying at the same time to the intelligent mind an idea of the very intonation with which the sentence was spoken when it was written down. This peculiarity of the Greek language cannot be properly expressed in English except by the use of typographical signs: such as, Initial Capital letters, italics, SMALL CAPITALS and CAPITALS. The Common Version of the New Testament fails to give the reader a full conception of the meaning designed to be conveyed by the Greek original, in regard--

1st. To those Words which are connected with the Greek Article; 
2nd. To those Pronouns substantive which are intended to carry in themselves a peculiar emphasis, and, 
3rd. To those Adjectives and Pronouns which obtain a comparative importance, by reason of the position which they occupy in the Greek Text, with reference to some other words. To remedy these deficiencies, the following System of Notation is employed in the English column of the DIAGLOTT. 

1. Those Words rendered positively emphatic by the presence of the Greek Article are printed in Small Capitals: as, The LIFE was the LIGHT OF MEN. 

2. Those Pronouns Substantive which, in the Greek, are intended to be positively emphatic are printed in Black Letter: as, He must increase, but I must decrease. 

3. Those Adjectives and Pronouns which in the Greek are comparatively emphatic, as indicated by their position, are printed with an Initial Capital Letter: as, One Body, and One Spirit, even as ye are called in One Hope of your CALLING. 

4. All Greek Substantives, as being of more importance than other words, are also commenced with a Capital Letter [which actually is the basis of the bible code - ed] . 
By adopting these Signs of Emphasis, it is believed certainty and intensity are given to passages where they occur, as well as vivacity and earnestness to the discourses in which they are found; thus rendering the reader a hearer, as it were, of the life-words of Him who spoke as never man spoke, or which were enunciated by His inspired apostles.